No future for Costa

Chelsea striker Diego Costa was told in January that he would not feature in the Premier League club’s plans for the upcoming season, manager Antonio Conte said yesterday.

Costa scored 20 goals in 35 league appearances in Chelsea’s title-winning campaign last season amid local media speculation that he has an unfavourable relationship with the Italian manager.

The 28-year-old was left out of the Chelsea squad for the pre-season tour of Asia, starting with a game against Arsenal in Beijing on Saturday.

“In January, the Costa situation was very clear for the club, for him and his agent,” Conte told reporters.

“I don’t like to talk about players that don’t stay here — for me the situation is closed.”

Conte was keen to welcome Alvaro Morata into the squad after Chelsea agreed a deal to sign the Real Madrid striker on Wednesday.

Morata, a former Juventus forward, scored 20 goals in 17 starts last season, helping Madrid win a second successive Champions League title.

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